Prince William and Kate Middleton have paid tribute to a Member of Parliament who was stabbed to death today.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said they are "shocked and saddened" by the killing of David Amess.

The Southend West MP was fatally injured at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex at midday on Friday and died at the scene.

In a personal tweet, William and Kate said their "thoughts and prayers" are with Sir David's family, friends and colleagues.

They tweeted: "We are shocked and saddened by the murder of Sir David Amess, who dedicated 40 years of his life to serving his community.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues. W & C."

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge posted a personal message on their Twitter account (

Image:

@KensingtonRoyal/Twitter)

Essex Police said the response of the emergency services to the incident was immediate and officers arrived at the scene within minutes.

A 25-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder following the attack in Leigh-on-Sea near Southend and remains in custody.

Chief constable Ben-Julian Harrington said 69-year-old Sir David was "simply dispensing his duties when his life was horrifically cut short".

Sir David Amess was stabbed to death today (

Image:

JONATHAN BUCKMASTER)

Mr Harrington said: "The investigation is in its very early stages and is being led by officers from the specialist counter-terrorism command.

"We made it clear at the time of the incident that we did not believe there was any immediate further threat to anyone else in the area.

"It will be for investigators to determine whether or not this is a terrorist incident, but as always they will keep an open mind."

Tory veteran Sir David, who was described by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as "one of the kindest, nicest, most gentle people in politics", had been an MP since 1983 and was married with five children.

Flowers left at the scene near the Belfairs Methodist Church in Eastwood Road North, Leigh-on-Sea (

Image:

PA)

Mr Harrington said officers were called to reports of a stabbing at just after midday.

He said: "The response of the emergency services to this incident was immediate and our officers arrived on scene within minutes.

"When they arrived they found Sir David Amess MP, who had suffered multiple injuries.

"This was a difficult incident, but our officers and paramedics from the East of England Ambulance Service worked extremely hard to save Sir David.

"Tragically he died at the scene. A 25-year-old man was arrested immediately at the scene on suspicion of murder. He remains in custody.

"A knife was also recovered at the scene."

A spokesman for Home Secretary Ms Patel said she chaired a meeting of the Police, Security and Intelligence Agencies to discuss the incident in Southend and the ongoing response, adding that she had also spoken to the Speaker of the House of Commons.

"The Home Secretary has asked all police forces to review security arrangements for MPs with immediate effect and will provide updates in due course," the spokesman said.